How And Where I Found These Rocks
About 80% of my collection was found in California. And yes, I have found gold, but not much. Believe it or not, your chances are probably very good outside gold country where evryone looks. I have fallen in and out of hard times and had to sell many of my rocks that contained gold. But a few have survived. My son noticed it one day. Another one is not in quartz, but a different kind of rock. The rest were found in Nevada, Oregon, Arizona, Lannon Wisconsin, and Florida in the US. A few were found in Bath, England, Hamburg,Germany, Guymas, Mexico, Tver, Russia,and Tama River near Tokyo, oh and British Columbia,Canada. I was an electrical contractor and during that time, many telephone poles were removed for underground service. We would break up the sidewalk and lay pipe underground, and I looked for interesting rocks.
I am also a licensed builder. After the San Francisco earthquake, I did retrofit and foundation work. I had a friend who worked at a quarry, who let me in to cherry pick (or "rock pick" if you prefer). I had a friend with a backhoe who always told me where he was excavating. Other than that, most were found on private property or land of BLM. There are specific areas they do and don't allow rock hounding. There are fewer and fewer places where its permitted now. State and National parks do not allow it. Most places are further and further away from cities now. "No Trespassing" signs are evrywhere. I suggest you abide by them. Also, you spend a lot of time just looking for a place that has rocks. Many have just bland shale or other kinds I wouldn't keep. Long drives for the ride.
Now I don't recommend this kind of hobby
to everyone and I'll tell you why:
Rule No. 1 - Don't go alone like I did. Many places where I've been are out of cell phone range. Some places you can walk all day and not see a real person. A few things that could happen, like spraining your ankle like I've done several times hiking, some are sharp. Ever been bitten by a snake? I have. Ever seen a mountain lion close up? I have, and. would you believe, once within 15 miles of San Francisco? Ive seen many bobcats,within about 50 miles of San Francisco. Wild pigs, turkeys, they don't harm anyone, but once we found black bear droppings in Lake County about 1980. Its scary is when you see a dead deer and you know a mountain lion did it, and he will be back, just like Arnold. Also if you see racoons, be careful. The Rule of Thumb is to stay on the walking trail because its when you get off the trail is when you are most likely to encounter animals mating, sunbathing snakes, animals with their cubs. When walking on trails, walk slowly so they have time to get out of your way. Or I guess you could run and confuse them.
Also there's a lot of poison oak in California. Watch where you walk, and if you bring a dog like my friend did once, watch where he goes, too! If you touch him and he's got it, you'll get it, too. Also I remember in Northern California, I went beach walking at low tide once. I got stranded at high tide and under moonlight, and I had to scale a cliff. That's not something I would want to do again. Don't get too far from your car when you go rock hunting. If you are injured, its often a long walk to get help with an injury. Falling in water when its cold is much more dangerous than people realize. Hypothermia sets fast.
(Editor's Note: In the small city of Pacifica, just south of San Francisco on the penninsula, there are many cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Not only is it a beautiful area to visit, you can find some great rocks along the shoreline. Try it sometime.)
Also, I've seen where people's cars were broken into or stolen, when they were parked for long periods on county roads. Not all country people welcome strangers, either. I've been met with a shotgun carrying person before. Lucky he didn't use it. I remember once meeting a mountain man near where they found an Army plane that crashed in 1947. And this was about 1973. He said he was in the Korean war. He talked of Eisenhower and told me he lived off nuts and berries. I asked if he ate fish. He said, yeah. On leaving he asked not to tell anyone I had seen him, and I said, "OK." I'm still wondering if he was a missing person. I determined he wasn't Howard Hughes or D.B. Cooper in my diary.